Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Blame Game

For two days every sports media member has had his say on the events Saturday at the Cintas Center; the last two days its been the water cooler aficionados turn.  The name-calling and finger pointing is outrageous.  Each fan base firmly believes that its players and coaches were the victims and the other players and coaches are the real cause of all the problems.
Full disclosure, I'm a proud University of Dayton graduate ('00), grew up rooting against both teams in every Crosstown Shootout; and I think both teams are equally culpable, but in different ways.  That being said, after two days of office chatter and sports radio talk and calls, I'm convinced neither one of these universities is the elite educational institution it claims to be. That, or no one that is a fan of either team actually graduated from either school.  However, one fan base is exceptionally holier than thou.  Yes, I'm speaking to those of you on Dana Avenue.

For two days 'Xavier fan' has been blaming everyone from Sean Kilpatrick to Bob Huggins.  Let's review... Kilpatrick poured gasoline on a smoldering fire, that was started in previous Shootouts - by UC, and Huggins, of course; Ge'Lawn Guyn started the brawl by putting his finger in Terrell's face (men don't go by nicknames, he said he was a man right?)  - Holloway was in no way running his mouth to the UC bench or players; Lyons & Wells were only retaliating to what was started by a UC player; Lyons & Holloway aren't good with the words and such - that one is from Mack; and my personal favorite, Frease verbally - and possibly physically - assaulting a female UC fan after RETURNING TO THE FLOOR TO CELEBRATE - he was provoked and he didn't touch her...oh well that makes it ok.

Furthermore, the whole 'they started it, we were disrespected' and 'what do you expect, look where they come from' angles are tired and idiotic.  This way of thinking is totally disrespectful to anyone that has ever overcome a rough upbringing and doesn't start a brawl every time he's 'disrespected.' Plenty of athletes, or lawyers, doctors, and teachers, have made the most of their lives even if they weren't brought up with the best of the best on the nicest street in the nicest neighborhood - that's a pathetic excuse.  Adults - and that's what these players are - should know how to act in civilized society and what happened Saturday was anything but civilized.

Don't get me wrong, everything UC did from the second the airball was shot to the second the post-game press conference began was wrong and inexcusable.  Cronin's presser was spot-on, even if the punishments don't jive with what he said on Saturday.  But I've yet to hear anyone defend how Gates or any other player acted on the court or after the game.

This was a black eye on the sport of college basketball, the city of Cincinnati, and both universities; and the finger pointing needs to stop.  Take responsibility, admit fault, and find a way to make sure it doesn't happen again.  Or don't, but don't come crying when you get hurt falling off your high horse.

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